With help from our communities and international networks, our Strategic Plan for 2022/23 will be to fund research into gut cancers so New Zealanders can access innovative life-saving treatments. We will raise awareness and provide comprehensive information to enable equitable outcomes for all New Zealanders.
When it comes to cancers of the digestive system, we have four major issues to tackle:
- With 15 Kiwis diagnosed every single day, gut cancers are collectively the most common form of cancer in New Zealand. Bowel cancer alone is the 3rd most common cancer diagnosis in New Zealand.
- When someone is diagnosed with a cancer of the upper digestive system (oesophageal, stomach, gallbladder/ bile duct, pancreatic, and liver) they have under a 30% chance of surviving beyond 5 years. Pancreatic cancer alone has the lowest 5-year survival rate of all major cancers at just 12% in New Zealand.
- Some cancers of the digestive system have outcomes that disproportionately impact Māori and other minority groups
- Funding for research, awareness, and support is drastically less for gut cancers when compared with cancers that have 5-year survival rates of over 90%
The Gut Cancer Foundation’s immediate strategy is focused on addressing these issues by moving the organisation from a concentration on funding clinical trials to one with a much broader impact, addressing all the areas of need identified above:
- A commitment to developing comprehensive resources for patients and Whānau will help address a lack of information for these most prevalent cancers, particularly those of the upper digestive system.
- A continued commitment to funding innovative research to help find better ways to detect, diagnose and treat these cancers to improve outcomes, particularly the unacceptable survival rates.
- A commitment to be the voice for all cancers of the digestive system, raising up the issues that have for too long been silent and forgotten, will help address the drastic lack of funding and awareness currently.
- A commitment to achieving equitable outcomes for all New Zealanders and a particular focus on improving outcomes for Māori and other minority groups will help address the disproportionate impact and inequitable outcomes currently experienced.